Citizen Science Project for Air Quality Measurements


Chemistry themed lunch!

I have spent the last two days at a meeting run by the Automation and Analytical Management Group (AAMG) of the Royal Society of Chemistry.  As well as being a lovely meeting location (the RSC building Burlington house isn’t your average conference centre- dessert was served in beakers and the rooms are beautiful) the meeting itself has been very interesting.

With topics of talks ranging from new air quality monitoring techniques to the latest deployment of networks of sensors to exciting new citizen science projects and the future of air quality monitoring.

The iSPEX add-on being used to measure aerosol properties

The iSPEX add-on being used to measure aerosol properties

It was this final topic that really caught my attention, a project called iSPEX originating in the Netherlands.  iSPEX is an add-on for your iPhone which allows the user to take measurements of the properties of aerosols. This project is currently being piloted in the Netherlands and has had some great success. On the first national iSPEX measurement day more than 5000 measurements were collected all over the Netherlands. This brilliant response shows the interest that can be generated by citizen science air quality projects.

I personally cannot wait for this project to be extended to other countries as well because I think it’s gadgets like this that really will start to make some headway towards increasing public interest in Air Quality.

Other projects discussed included installing a large network of low-cost air quality sensors at Heathrow airport and another project from Leicester where air quality outreach is also being pushed through funding from the RSC. Overall a very positive meeting demonstrating the interest in networks of monitors and citizen science concepts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *